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While the magistrate was all for removing Pearl from Hester's care, Dimmesdale pled in Hester's favor that God had givern her the child. Acceding to this line of reasoning, the magistrate decided that Pearl could continue to be raised by her mother on the condition that there would be no further scandal. However, since acertaining Pearl's "ignorance" of the catechism, he put Dimmesdale in charge of teaching her spiritual lessons, since Hesther has obviously failed in this regard.
By putting Hesther and Dimmesdale thus in more frequent proximity, the magistrate has unwittingly increased the chance of more scandal. Can Dimmesdale and Hesther avoid repating their "mistake"?
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